Final Mission Report-VOSH-CT 2014

Here is the Final Mission report-VOSH-CT 2014.

I am sorry for the delay in getting this out to all of you, but we have been extremely busy and I thank you all for your patience.

This report will be posted up on our web sites, along with some pictures. I am also happy to report that I managed to track down & get returned 2 of the missing black bags along with Dr. Lynch’s bag of readers that all had gone MIA from UPS.

It was not an easy task, but it got done.

Again, next year’s mission dates will be January 10-17, 2015 because it was too much with the holidays being so close this year, so hopefully this will work a little better for everyone’s schedule.

Once again, if you’re planning ahead, please plan to arrive in Managua on Friday night, January 9th, so we can all meet up & travel together through customs.

Rosa Elena was wonderful with helping us this year & fortunately she will continue as Mayor for the next few years so hopefully we’ll be in good shape.

The only real baggage casualty was Orlando’s son’s entire suitcase of diapers, baby clothes, toys & gifts that they show at Delta coming off the plane in Managua and never making it to the carrousel, a distance of maybe 10 feet, so we figure that’s a goner, but again, thankfully we were spared all of that this year.

I’d also like to once again thank the Berkeley students for their 16th year of service to our VOSH mission because without these students there would be no mission. I look forward to being in touch with the new group after Labor Day and again if anyone needs anything or we can help in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We have a lot coming up with Rose, Mike & Joey’s graduations & Rose’s wedding in October, so again, thanks so much to everyone & we look forward to being in touch!!

Jefa AudBl@aol.com


Updated COVID-19 and VOSH Humanitarian Clinics Advice

VOSH/International recently consulted its US and International Chapters about the feasibility and timing to restart our humanitarian clinics. While the vaccination process continues with different levels of success depending on availability and acceptance, it is evident that vaccine inequity and the availability and reliability of data in several countries are issues we need to consider.

Even if already vaccinated and boosted, our chapters are still concerned about the wellbeing of our volunteers and patients.  Some chapters, are organizing clinics locally where they are better able to comply with the existing safety requirements and respective state/country regulations.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its variants are being experienced quite differently depending on state, region, country, vaccine availability, vaccine acceptance, and the spread of SARS-COV-2 variants. Most VOSH chapters are not holding clinics or traveling internationally in 2021 or 2022.

If a VOSH Chapter choses to hold a clinic or travel internationally, we highly recommend that the chapter performs due diligence to comply fully with the requirements established by the visited country, ensures all VOSH volunteers are aware of and follow strict safety guidelines and all existing protocols and regulations of the country, and keeps the principle of “do no harm” embedded in all its decision making. As always, the wellbeing and safety for VOSH volunteers and our patients is of utmost importance and central to any decision-making process. We have published our updated clinic guidelines with best practices to be observed in this new context. VOSH chapters in specific countries are using protocols that need to be considered as well. You can download VOSH/International clinic guidelines here.

*VOSH/International is formed by autonomous US and international chapters that are fully and only responsible for their activities, fundraising and decision-making.  VOSH/International can only provide recommendations based on our best knowledge and information at the time.

Also please keep checking the following sites with official and most recent updates:

World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

US CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/when-to-delay-travel.html

US Government Travel Advise: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html

Thank you for your hard work and dedication to improving vision and eye health throughout the world.

Michael Ciszek, OD, dipl ABO, FVI

President, VOSH/International

December 2021